BETT 2014: groupcall–changing the face of personalised communications between parents and teachers



We’ve had an amazing year since winning an award at BETT 2013 for our Messenger service, hosted in the Windows Azure cloud.  A year crammed with innovative ideas, which have brought more exciting features to our existing product suite and seen the arrival of, what we believe to be a pioneering approach to identity, access and provisioning management.  We’ve named this Groupcall IDaaS – Identity-as-a-Service. 

imageIDaaS was born out of the need to deliver secure access to our brand new Emerge for Parents app with minimal administrative overhead and maximum simplicity.  Come and see us on stand C390 for a demo of Emerge for Parents, which could dramatically change the face of personalised communications with your learners’ parents and drive engagement.  It’s all in hand with Emerge for Parents.  Parents are presented with information on their mobile device about each of their children, no matter which school the child is in. 

Parents can receive push notifications about absences, achievements and behaviour, view unified messages from school, stay up to date with assessment results and view the timetable live.

So, we have an original and effective approach to the management of parent identity and access, to deliver our Emerge for Parents app. In a moment of clarity we saw what had been staring us in the face all along. In solving the problem of parent identity for access to Emerge for Parents we’d also solved the difficulty of access to many other school offered services.

imageGroupcall IDaaS is true cloud identity and access management solution architected to support nationwide deployments, supporting millions of users.  This is made possible by using the Windows Azure platform, which gives us fantastic flexibility and almost unbounded scalability.  Furthermore, Windows Azure sits snugly with our penchant for international standards for quality and security.  Both Groupcall Limited and Microsoft Windows Azure hold current ISO/IEC 27001:2005 and ISO 9001:2008 certifications.

IDaaS doesn’t just deliver parent identity and access management.  It takes advantage of its interoperability with all of the major school Management Information Systems (MIS) to automate identity and access management for students, teaching and support staff and school governors.  We’d love you to come and talk to us on stand C390 to find out how we’ve revolutionised identity management, making it near-time and breaking down the traditional barriers to success such as identity matching and duplication. 

What about Single Sign-on (SSo)?  We think that we’ve cracked this too!  As well as supporting the well-proven Shibboleth 2.0 education standard for SSo, Groupcall IDaaS supports leading web standards including WS-Federation, OAuth 2.0 and SAML 2.0.  Why worry about parents forgetting their usernames and passwords, adding burden to your school’s already laden administration, when they can sign-in using their Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Office 365? 


It doesn’t just stop there…  Groupcall is already famous for systems integration and automation in the education sphere.  So we thought that it made perfect sense to enhance IDaaS functionality, using our interoperability experience and expertise, designing in application and service provisioning.  Many are switching to Microsoft’s Office 365 for anytime, anywhere learning, collaboration and productivity in the cloud.  IDaaS already securely and automatically uses information stored in the school’s MIS – the ‘golden record’ – to deliver identity and access management.  So why not take this information one step further and automate the provisioning of a school’s Office 365 tenancy? 

Whenever new people are added to, change groups in, or leave the school’s MIS, IDaaS is automatically updated and in turn seamlessly provisions, or updates, Office 365.  If a History teacher wants a group of students to collaborate on a project, there they already are with Single Sign-on to Office 365 and importantly associated with their History classmates.  Enter data once and reuse many times!  This saves you time, improves information accuracy and encourages use of valuable school resources.   

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